In 269 a young Egyptian takes the advice that Jesus gives a rich man in the Gospel: "If you want to be perfect, sell everything you have ... Then come and follow me" (Matthew 19: 21-22). Antony distributes all his goods to the poor and will live as a hermit in the desert of Thebaid, on the eastern bank of the Nile.
Taken from the study notes prepared for the Novices by the Ven. Fr. Dom Ugo Ginex ESB in March 1989 and edited by Brother Pablo di San Martin. God be Praised. Christian monasticism began in the Egyptian deserts. In Lower Egypt a semi - eremitical monasticism flourished while Upper Egypt saw the growth of a more cenobitic form under the leadership of Pachomius. It is my experience that the literature that witnesses to these forms of monastic life deserves our attention today. In this paper I hope to share something I have tasted or glimpsed. It is not the product of a thorough and organised study; I am in no way an expert. But I do believe that their tradition is ours, and to meet them is to know ourselves better.